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Power Science

Electric Motorcycle Inventor Crashes at Wired Conference 337

not5150 writes "The inventor of the electric 'KillaCycle" motorcycle was taken to the hospital for x-rays after demonstrating the vehicle to reporters. Bill Dube, a government scientist during the day and bike builder at night, attempted a burnout in front of the Los Angeles Convention Center during the Wired NextFest fair. Fueled by the "most powerful" lithium-ion batteries in the world, the bike accelerated uncontrollably into another car. There's a video interview (thankfully before the crash) and footage of Dube crashing."
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Electric Motorcycle Inventor Crashes at Wired Conference

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  • hmm. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by apodyopsis ( 1048476 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @04:56AM (#20600637)
    sure as hell emphasizes the difference between an inventor, scientist and engineer...

    ..and a professional stunt man who will ensure adequate clearance zones, safety margins, appropriate safety gear and at least apply a basic safety audit before carrying out a start stop on such a potentially powerful bike.

    I'm still waiting for my live action Akira bike [] [] []
    ..that would be my number one fantasy vehicle from a movie. (or maybe a land speeder :-).

    And the eye candy who was hired to sit on the bike was quite nice. Sorry that's amazingly un-PC of me and I apologize. :-(
  • Killacycle (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PadRacerExtreme ( 1006033 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @07:59AM (#20601569)
  • Probably On Purpose (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 14, 2007 @08:45AM (#20601921)
    By making the vehicle seem dangerous, it instantly becomes desirable to a great many idiots who will quickly become enthusiasts.

    "I can't wait to get my hands on that bad boy!"
  • by jsiren ( 886858 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @09:02AM (#20602023) Homepage
    This will depend on your definition of "easy"... if it means "in less than five passive components", then you may be right.

    Anyway, you mentioned the railway engine's AC-DC-AC drive. Now, to run on DC, just skip the first rectifier: you can run the inverters directly on DC. In fact, many railroads do just that. There are lower-powered inverters and motors available for lighter-duty applications. Did you know your average "brushless DC" CPU fan is in effect an induction motor with an integrated drive?

    So, if you have a 500 V battery pack capable of 10 A, just slap a 5 kW drive with a suitable control input and a 5 kW induction motor on it and you're basically done. (Select ratings to suit application and products.) Ask your supplier for more information.

  • by Supergood-ape ( 959376 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @09:34AM (#20602331)
    "I wasn't wearing a helment, because..."

    There's nothing you can say here that will justify not wearing a helmet.

    I recently put a new seat on my Ducati. I wanted to test it, but I was only taking to the end of my street and back. As I left the driveway, I hit an acorn (yes a fucking acorn) that had been smashed, lost the front, and went down. Low speed, no problems, but I banged my head pretty hard, hard enough to send me to the hospital.

    That is, if I had been dumb enough to listen to the inner voice that said "I don't need to wear a helmet because...". Luckily, I'm not that dumb and I did wear my helmet, so I got up and walked away.

  • by neiko ( 846668 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @10:01AM (#20602623)
    I'm not in the insurance game, but I've heard myths that insurance rates are higher because of people who wear helmets. A $5,000 funeral is a hell of a lot cheaper than a $50,000 hospital bill from the same accident. Don't know how true that is...
  • by LSD-OBS ( 183415 ) on Friday September 14, 2007 @11:41AM (#20603841)
    Thanks, I forgot to specify the type of combustion engine. However Wankel/rotary style engines still only operate up to 2 or 3 times the RPM of a reciprocating piston engine, whereas an electric motor in the same context spins an order of magnitude faster quite easily.

    Point being, you *still* need gears using a rotary engine in a car, so both points still stand 100%.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"